Written for the Live Journal hp_cross_fest.
Summary: There's a new Weasley on the way! Arthur's the dad and Hermione's the mum! How do the Weasleys react?
Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction set in the Harry Potter universe all recognisable characters and settings are the property of J. K. Rowling and her associates. No copyright infringement is intended. No profit is made from this work. Please observe your local laws with regards to the age-limit and content of this work.
Warnings/Kinks: Prat!Ron
Word Count: ~46,500 words. So wish I was kidding.
Author's Notes:

Thanks to my Betas, the letters J, K & L.

NOTE: There are a great many typos in this as the upload seems to have misplaced some of the punctuation. They're in my original Word document - but not here. I've uploaded the file a few times, and even tried to fix the various errors by hand. Yet, sadly, they are still there. Sorry.

Time it was and what a time it was it was,
A time of innocence, a time of confidences.
Long ago it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you.

Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel

She added a bit of red to her cheeks to give her complexion some sparkle. Not too much, just a little bit, as she didn't wish to look ruddy. Her hair was now a lovely strawberry blonde and her eyes were green. Her dcolletage that seemed as though it was only one mere breath from escaping from its confines was au naturel. She had heard enough horror stories to know it wasn't pretty when one's Charms deflated.

For a moment, she was nervous as she had never done anything like this.

Arrogantly, Hermione had never believed it possible that she would ever reach this nadir of desperation. No, no, no, the gossip columns would be salivating at the chance to broadcast the news that a Glamoured Hermione Granger, formerly Weasley, formerly Ron Weasley's Fag Hag, was heading to a Muggle bar where she'd pick up any man that breathed and had a working penis.

Perhaps, not necessarily in THAT order.

It had been a year or so since she had dealt with the bitter truth that Ron and Harry were just a little too close to be purely best friends. Her self-worth had shattered when she realized the relationship she had valued almost as much as her life itself was nothing more than a screen. A diversion so the ugly truth remained a secret; the Hero of the Realm and his trusty sidekick were wearing through the mattresses at an unholy rate. A year since she had filed for divorce, a year of shame where everyone knew the sad truth; Hermione Granger's husband was Harry Potter's Boy Toy. Her friends had shunned her, perhaps out of a misguided sense of kindness of not wishing to rip open her emotional wounds anew. The lowest blow? Even Arthur and Molly Weasley, who had vowed after the startling revelation to always consider her family, had cast her aside.

A year of self-imposed celibacy. A year of critical self-evaluation where she wondered what was so very wrong with her. Her first boyfriend? She had attracted Viktor, a self-absorbed narcissistic Quidditch bum. Her second, a boy so far in denial about his sexuality that even after she had caught him in a state of dshabill with Harry, Ron had refused to even consider the fact that he was as bendy as a willow wand.

No, no, no, the real reason why Ron consented to sex only once every two months or so was because Hermione was sexually repressed, a frigid bitch of a witch. Her breasts were small, her oral techniques lacking

Tonight, she'd show HIM, show THEM. She'd find some man, take him home for a night of sexual pleasure that even Madame de Pompadour would have been unable to surpass.

Yes, that's why her knees were shaking.

Really, Hermione had read all the Muggle sexual self-help books and the various female magazines from cover to cover she possessed a wealth of sexual knowledge but absolutely no experience. Her sessions with Ron had been pitiful.



She had helped defeat Lord Voldemort, why was she so terrified of having sex with a stranger?

Because she had always been the awkward bushy-haired, bucktoothed and socially inexperienced sidekick whose only redeeming characteristic had been her encyclopedic knowledge? Her only friends had been books until she had met Harry and Ron. Least her books hadn't cavalierly destroyed her just so they could have a jolly good lay.

She opened the door to the pub and took a deep breath. She'd find herself a man and have the absolute best sex of her life.

Or cripple him trying.

Hermione held her head high and attempted to project the easy, sexually arrogant strut of Sirius Black. Sirius had been the sexiest man she had ever known. But thinking of Sirius got her mind wandering to Remus who had used Dora Lupin as his Beard. At least Remus had given Dora, Teddy.

Hermione had hoped for children, but Ron had been insistent that there was time for that nonsense LATER. Oh God, the wasted years, her pitiful hopes that Ron would want children sooner rather than later. All those times, those well meaning people had commented on how she shouldn't be so focused on her career as her child bearing years were passing her by. Everyone had thought it was HER fault why they didn't have children.

Oh yes, he wanted children, but not with her. He was quite happy with Teddy. Teddy who was old enough to be a companion, not a baby that required nappy changes.

Tonight, tonight, Hermione would find herself a man, have fantastically intense sex and hopefully in nine months or so, she'd have her baby. Her fertility had been primed by both Magical and Muggle means and according to the little stick, she was quite fertile.

She ordered a pint of bitter, and a man sitting in the pub paid for it. He wasn't much, an older, nondescript man that she wouldn't have looked at twice except for the fact that he had paid for her drink. Her benefactor looked so desperately unhappy that she felt a twinge of compassion.

"Mind if I sit here?" Hermione asked. Well, she didn't so much as ask, as she commanded. Sirius Bloody Black had never asked permission. He had just did whatever the bloody hell he wanted, leaving lesser mortals trembling in his wake and Albus Dumbledore struggling to pick up after him. She sat next to her victim and accidentally brushed his leg with her hand. She kept her hand there and he seemed startled by her boldness.

He didn't tell her to move her hand, though.

The signs were there that he was a long time, married man. There was the slightest indentation on the ring finger as though he had recently taken off his wedding band. He didn't look particularly comfortable sitting there in the pub, as though it was something he rarely did.

She continued through the Twelve Steps that Witches Monthly Guaranteed that She'd have a Fully Functional Man in her Bed All Night Long That Very Night. There was the accidental flash of her cleavage, her hand lingering just the slightest bit too long on his inner thigh, a pint of bitter so she was deemed approachable her lips were slightly pouting, so they looked kissable rather than bruised.

"You seem so sad," he softly commented. "It shreds my heart that such a young woman has such heartbroken eyes. Who hurt you?"

"My friends," she spat.

Bitterness was a sure way to scare her victim, Hermione remembered. It was the Number One Turnoff for Men.

He brushed her cheek with his fingers. It was quick gesture of such honest compassion that her eyes filled with tears. "You need better friends, love," was all the man said. Such unforeseen sympathy and tenderness from a member of the male species weakened the granite fortress around Hermione's heart.

She broke the cardinal rules of the Witches' Weekly Wizard Hunt then and there.

"Will you spend the night with me?" she pleaded.

How mortifying, she was begging for sex. Hermione had resolved to be the most sexually successful conqueror since Aspasia and Thais had gotten too old for the business. She was supposed to play hard to get, impossible to obtain, not desperate.

"What a tempting offer. I'm so flattered, but I fear it wouldn't be right," was his soft response. He took a sip of his pint as though he was still mentally debating the issue. He shook his head and wore a regretful smile. "No, it wouldn't be right. I don't even know your name. You don't know mine."

"Doesn't matter," she insisted. "Come home with me. I don't want to be alone tonight."

"Neither do I. Loneliness is the ultimate poverty," he agreed. "What would a beautiful woman like you dare hope to find in a broken-down man like me? Be honest with me, and then I'll decide on your most munificent offer."

"For once, I want to be the center of someone's universe," Hermione admitted. It was frightening how easily she was confessing her innermost desires. It was almost as though the two of each other had known each other for years, decades. Instinctively, Hermione trusted this somber stranger with his despairing eyes. "Just for tonight, I want to feel pretty."

"Dear woman, you are unbelievably beautiful, but your sadness your pain it's overwhelming you. How did your friends convince you that you aren't desirable? Is there any man here who wouldn't be delighted to take you home?"

"You'd be surprised," was her bitter retort. "And I don't seem to recall that you accepted my offer."

Again, he touched her cheek and then slid his fingers down her neck. "They're fools. Why pick me? You haven't answered that question. What did this forlorn old man do to attract your interest?"

"Because you seem to be the loneliest person here," Hermione admitted.

"Ah, you have a bit of self-esteem issue, love? You picked me because you thought I'd be less likely to say 'No', then?" he quipped. He flashed a smile at her that was eerily familiar. "Your honesty is appreciated, though bruising. It's time that we introduced ourselves. Call me Michael."

"Michael," Hermione softly repeated. "I'm Anne."

"Lovely name," he assured her. They both knew that the other was lying, but it was enough for now. They were bonding over their mutual heartache. "Anne, I have to be honest. Haven't done this before. My wife she's dead I just feared that I'd go astray in my head from loneliness at my home, that's why I came here. I couldn't take the silence anymore. I don't usually go to pubs and pick up women."

"I haven't done this before either," she agreed.

She knew his blue eyes but not his face. Why did she trust his eyes? The timbre of his voice was also familiar to her. Why did Hermione instinctively trust that he'd be a wonderful man to father her baby?

He held out his hand, and gave her a smile.

Yes, he had decided to go home with her, Hermione knew.

"I won't make you any promises, Anne. It seems you have had enough promises that have been broken, but I'll let you have you secrets. Just let me have mine, that's all I ask," Michael requested.


They moved to a more private area, and Michael placed his left hand on her knee.

"Let me know if I'm too forward," he requested. Again, the smile that was achingly familiar tugged at her heartstrings. But Hermione knew that she was just desperately pretending that she knew him, so it wasn't like she was actually going home with a perfect stranger. "It's been a while since I've been able to do this. Oh, how I've missed this."

He slid his left hand underneath her skirt, slid it between the junction of her legs. He kept it there and Michael kept talking to her. Sometimes, he'd stroke her knickers while he deliberately kept his hand on the outside of them. Meanwhile, he continued to act as though nothing was amiss. As though his hand wasn't there and they weren't in public!

"You're lovely when you blush," he told her. "Now tell me, what do you like to do in bed? Would you like my mouth there instead? I'd like to kiss you there. It's the sweetest kiss, you know, so I'd savor it and take my time." She knew she was crimson then, and Michael gave her a penetrating look.

"Talk to me," he requested. "Tell me what you can. You're a tantalizing mixture of shyness and forwardness. I fear to err with you."

"I'm a divorcee. My ex played for the other team," she admitted. "He wasn't that interested in my enjoyment. Wanted it over with. I'm not that experienced"

Again, she shattered another of Witches' Weekly's Rules! Never admit your inexperience. A one night stand man wanted a woman with sexual know-how.

He crooked one eyebrow when she mentioned her shame, and then he somberly nodded his head.

"Happened to more than one person that I cared for." Michael admitted that softly. He smiled once and then kissed her on her cheek. It was a gentle, chaste kiss and Hermione marveled at the sensation. How long had it been since she had been kissed? "Don't worry, love. I've got sufficient experience to make it good for you."

Again the familiar, self-mocking smile.

"I'm not good with words, but I'm far better with my hands," he admitted. "What I wanted to say is if we decide to take this further, it won't be like your other times."

"I know it won't," she strongly stated, which earned her another amused look. "You're paying me more attention that he ever did. I'm surprised that we're still here. He'd be rolled over on his side, snoring by now."

"Talking is part of it," he reminded her. "That is what separates us from animals. But not just talking, but the touching is so very important."

He lazily ran his middle finger up and then down before he was in THE Spot. The Spot that caused Hermione to close her eyes as he slowly and deliberately circled it.

"Like that do you?" Michael was a bit cheeky, but he had every right to be. She was primed and ready, and was this close to going off like a Weasley Wild-Fire Whiz-Bangs in the middle of a pub.

"Hmmm" was her incoherent murmur.

The bastard stopped and then spread her legs apart. His hand then moved to her knee.

"There will be more of that later on," he promised. "But I think you'd like my tongue more."

How pathetic was her life? She was getting the best foreplay of her life in the corner of a pub with a complete stranger.

To hide her confusion, she ordered another pint and he placed his right hand on top of hers. Hermione liked his hands, as they were heavily calloused, as though he was used to working with his hands. They weren't the typical soft wizard hands; they were hands that worked for a living. How exciting would it be to feel those hands on her body?

"Don't be nervous," he assured her. "We don't have to do this. All you really need is someone to assure you that you're truly beautiful. Perhaps if I repeat it enough, you'll believe me. I don't need to be in the horizontal position to tell you that you're the prettiest woman here."

Again the sense of familiarity, as though Hermione knew him. But why did she think that whoever Michael really was, he was being unusually solemn and formal? He possessed a grave sort of tenderness as though he had been alone with just his thoughts for far too long. As though he was so soul wounded that he couldn't bear to see another person hurting.

"Yes, Anne, you're beautiful. On the outside and the inside. The eyes never lie," he informed her.

"I've been just so lonely," Hermione explained. "I feel as though the world is passing me by."

"And I've been grieving. Let us give each other what comfort we can, Anne. No commitments, no promises, just two forlorn people coming together. I assure you that you'll have complete control over tonight. If your nerves get the better of you, then I'll stop. I won't be angry," Michael said. "It takes a great deal for me to get annoyed. I'll thank you for our conversation and then leave."

"What if I'm not any good? He said that I wasn't" Again, Hermione found herself confessing.

Again, a gentle caress of her cheek that trailed down her neck.

"If he's in denial, he'll put the blame on anyone else but himself. It takes a rare man to look himself in the mirror and acknowledge the type of man he truly is," was his response. "Young men don't have enough life experience to realize that they shouldn't take themselves so bloody seriously. I'm sure that you're wonderful, Anne. You're kind, you're compassionate and you're very patient with a grieving, old man who is wildly out of practice with flirting. You've given my broken heart solace. Plus, I quite fancy the color of your knickers."

"Really?" Hermione asked. She had picked the color based on WW's expert suggestions.

"You've got a wild streak in you."

He touched her face again, pushing her cheek up so she was smiling. It was a wonderful feeling and Hermione closed her eyes in order to focus on the sensation. It ran up and down her backbone, but the feeling was concentrated in the spot where his left hand formerly had been.

"Take me home," whispered Hermione.

"Yes," Michael whispered. "I'll take you home and spend all night convincing you how magnificent you are."

Arthur Weasley couldn't shake the uneasy feeling that he knew Anne, and knew her quite well. She was a Muggle though. He didn't know that many Muggles, and certainly didn't know her face.

Anne wanted to have sex with him no she just wanted sex with anyone with a penis. He shouldn't be agreeing to this madness, to take a much younger woman to bed. It was a one way to ticket to embarrassment, especially for a man of his age. Yet, she was hurting so badly that he couldn't help but feel her pain.

He felt no guilt in cheating on Molly.

He had spoken the truth to Anne. His wife was dead, long departed, her warm personality silenced due to the cruel neurological disease that had robbed her of memories. All that remained of the woman he had loved, loved and would always love was her physical shell. His latest visit had been earlier today and she had been glowing. Molly was smitten with a fellow patient who was also afflicted with dementia. Molly's happiness had always been paramount for Arthur, so he had played along with her, allowing her the giddy bliss of being in love for what was her, the very first time.

Didn't make it hurt any less. And so when he had returned to the bleakness of his flat, he had taken off his wedding ring. He had never removed it, not even once, during his many years with Molly. Their marriage was over; Molly had found love with Roger. How Arthur both loved and hated the man who made his Mollywobbles happy.

He had come to the pub looking for noise, to escape the solitary stillness of his life. He had long since sold the Burrow to pay for Molly's care, but there were still a million and one reminders of Molly in his flat. And in his despair, he had found Anne.

He was making no promises with Anne, no declarations of heartfelt devotion.

Yet why was he ruddy doing this? Why was he agreeing to his insanity?

Because she could so easily end up bedding a blackguard, someone who wouldn't stop if she changed her mind. Best if it was a tired old man who'd treasure the honor, who wanted to be close with someone tonight while he mourned the death of his marriage. For all her boldness, there was a pool of stunning emotional fragility in the lass she reminded him of Molly how she had carried on in public after the deaths of Fabian, Gideon and Fred. How she had wept in private for poor shattered Hermione.

Ginny had fought back with all the righteous anger she had possessed. Got a proper settlement from Harry and was living the Very Good Life with her children. But Hermione, she had just wanted it over, and quickly settled. Molly and he had assured Hermione that she would always be part of the family and that they still loved her. Molly had gotten increasingly absent minded and he needed to focus on THAT, until the horrible diagnosis of her dementia had been confirmed by far too many Healers. Then when he had time to breathe once again, he had attempted to find Hermione, to tell her about Molly but the young witch had moved. No forwarding address so it seemed to him that she had wanted a complete split with her painful past. He had seen her a few times at the Ministry, but she had fled from him.

Not that he wanted to do it, but he honored her unspoken request to be left alone.

His seduction of Anne was a leisurely affair, a great deal of talking with some touching, wanting to teach her to savor the experience. She had the impatience of youth, and he kept slowing down the pace much to her annoyance. In time, they made it back to her flat. It was a small, tidy flat and Arthur had a horrible case of the jitters. A lovely, young thing like Anne, bedding him - How utterly barmy! His face was Glamoured but his body was most assuredly the middle-aged, soft body of Arthur Weasley.

A nervous Anne needlessly warned him about her cat, a particularly crabby tabby that might make an appearance or he might not. It all depended on his capricious cat nature.

"Have any music?" he questioned as he didn't wish to talk about her pussy cat all night. "We can dance."

"Dance?" Anne protested.

"Yes, dancing is wonderful foreplay," Arthur assured her. "I know your ex didn't believe in it, but foreplay is delicious. Making love is like having a meal, Anne. Foreplay is the appetizer, your orgasm is the main course and cuddling is afters."

"I can't dance very well," Anne protested. "Can't we?"

She tilted her head towards her bedroom. Her desire to get his penis into her bed was really quite flattering, Arthur thought.

"No dancing, no making love," he chastised. He held out his hand, and motioned for to take it. "Come now. We're doing this properly, love. So that means excessive amounts of foreplay."

She glided into his arms, and he carefully wrapped his arms around her.

"I like slow dancing." He had to lean down to whisper that in her ear. Merlin's beard, she was such a little thing and Arthur was overwhelmed with a feeling of protectiveness for Anne. "It's an excellent way of learning how to move as one."

Hermione placed her head on Michael's chest and she inhaled his cologne while they slow danced. It was a light, musky scent that she couldn't quite recognize, but then again, Ron's taste had been rather limited to Odor de Wet Quidditch Uniform. It was a nice fragrance, she thought. Maybe her father had worn it, as it smelled familiar. Yes, it was the type of aftershave one was likely to find any middle age man's medicine cabinet. A man who was focused on providing for his family rather than spending his hard earned money on expensive fragrances.

A provider not a player.

He'd make a simply splendid baby. She'd thank Michael every single minute that her belly swelled with his child.

Her baby. It wouldn't matter if her baby was Magical, Muggle or a squib. It would be hers, all hers Her baby would know what an amazing man Michael had been, how he given her what she had craved so desperately. Perhaps, if it was a boy, she'd name him Michael.

Yes, Michael Granger.

Yes, after the simply wonderful man who had given her this precious gift? If this worked, all the damn shots, all the damn potions just so she could experience the miracle of motherhood would be worth it. All those bitter tears she had shed during her marriage to Ron, her fake smiles of happiness when the latest Weasley grandbaby arrived would be forgotten in the joys of having her own child.

Michael's hands were on her back, sliding beneath her shirt while they slow danced. With a proficiency Ron had never quite mastered, Michael unfastened her brassiere. They then kissed for a bit, Michael not seemingly displeased with her tongue-tied tongue. No, he was enthusiastically kissing her and he had his hands cupping her breasts. The evil, evil man was teasing her nipples with his thumbs.

How many hands did Michael possess? He must be part octopus, Hermione delightedly believed as his hands were everywhere as was his mouth. Then when his hand slipped beneath the waistband of her panties, she stopped being so ruddy analytical. No, instead she focused on how much she wanted this, how deliberately he was teasing her

Before long, her last coherent thought for a very long time was this was far better than Witches' Weekly had promised.

In the afterglow, Arthur deliberately took the side of the bed that was a wee bit damp due to their pleasant activities. His father, Septimus, had instructed him in the mysteries of sex and the foremost rule was to be a gentleman at all times ESPECIALLY afterwards. Only cads treated their lovers differently after sex. Anne seemed uncertain what to do next and he motioned for her to come closer.

"Rest your head on my chest," he suggested. They wrestled her into position for a bit and when everything was perfect, he pulled the blanket over her so she was covered. "My beautiful lady, you were wonderful."

He kissed the top of her head while he rubbed her back.

"Again? So soon?" She delightedly asked.

"No, I wish but I need time to recover as I'm knackered," he teased. "This lovely woman had no mercy on an old man."

"You're not old," she protested.

I've got children younger than you, Arthur thought.

He continued stroking her back while he pondered the night's events. With this, he had acknowledged that his marriage was over. He'd never divorce Molly, never stop thinking of her as the young girl he had married so many years ago, but his overwhelming grief was lessening.

We had such a wonderful life together, Mollywobbles. Too many kids and not enough galleons, but oh, what a time. Helped saved the wizard world and the Muggles, too.

I'll always love you, Molly.

I'm glad that I used a Glamour tonight. If any of our kids found out about this, they wouldn't understand about how lonely I am without you, how I needed to be physically close to someone in order to be able to let you go. I'm not a one night stand man, Molly. But Michael Michael is. He can love this sweet child and walk away with a jaunty bounce in his step.

Oh, Anne, you'll never know how much tonight meant to me. I'll keep tonight close to my heart always.

He kissed Anne thoroughly then, wanting to properly express his thanks for her kindness. Poor Anne was affection starved as she positively purred whenever he kissed or caressed her.

There was bit of a ruckus and a very big, bandy-legged, ginger-colored cat with a squashed head jumped on the bed. His face looked as if he had run headlong into a brick wall. A horrified and appalled Arthur recognized the Kneazle.

"Naughty Shanks," Hermione lovingly chastised her Kneazle. "I hope you didn't startle Michael."

Crookshanks purred at his mistress and then looked at Arthur. His eyes were penetrating as though he was warning Arthur that he knew exactly what type of man he was.

I just made love to my daughter-in-law.

Oh yes, I most assuredly had made love to Hermione. I had completely focused on her physical needs and oh Merlin's bloody scrote, I had made love to Hermione.

"Is there something a matter?" Hermione asked. Her voice was soft and he could sense her nervousness. "You seem upset. Is it Shanks?"

Was it me? Wasn't I good enough? Was Ron right about me? Am I a lousy lay? Those were her unasked questions.

"No, there's nothing wrong," he tenderly assured her. "You were simply exquisite. Stars and stones, I'm lucky that you didn't kill me. He just startled me when he jumped on the bed."

She twisted one lock of hair around her finger, a gesture so reminiscence of Hermione that he cursed himself. How the bloody hell could he NOT know her?

"You'll stay the night, won't you?" She gave him a very uncertain smile. "I'll make breakfast. Eggs, toast and sausage?"

"Yes," Arthur softly agreed. "Sounds delicious."

"Will you hold me?" was her next request. "I find that I quite like your arms around me. He wasn't much into snuggling. I want to remember how good I felt in your arms."

"Yes, I'll hold you all night long," promised a badly shaken Arthur. "If I could, I would hold you long enough to make up for all those lonely nights you endured."

She traced her fingers down his wet cheek.

"You're crying, Michael. Are you thinking about your wife?" Hermione asked. Her loving concern nearly did him in.

He nodded once. He was thinking of Molly and of a bushy haired girl he had once known. He was pondering many things, including how bloody damned he was.

I buggered my marriage vows. My sacred marriage vows! I buggered them repeatedly with my daughter in law! I should have recognized her! The clues were there, damn it!

"It's obvious to me that you loved her very much and that you still love her." Hermione assured him. "She must have been so happy to be married to you because she knew how much you loved her. You're such an amazing man, Michael."

She planted little butterfly kisses on his face, whispering over and over again her thanks.

A drowsy Hermione was blissfully smiling while a deeply disturbed Arthur was most assuredly not. He decided to stroke her hair, and he kissed the top of her head several times. Arthur could give her this a feeling of blissful contentedness, the sweet, sleepy afterglow and the understanding how lovemaking was supposed to be between two people.

"You were amazing," she whispered. "I never knew it was supposed to be this incredible."

Arthur wanted to vomit, as all he could think was that poor Hermione's sexual experience consisted of two generations of Weasley penises. One gay, one married. Well, no, not really married but yes technically married. Instead, he continued to kiss her, placing soft, gentle pecks on the top of her head. Tenderly, he whispered inanities to her and continued to cuddle.

He wanted to flee from this situation. Instead, Arthur stayed, so he could give her the warmth and affection that his self-absorbed son hadn't.

"Stop," he gently protested. "You're embarrassing me. You're just being kind to an old man."

"No, you were brilliant," she insisted. "It never felt like this before. You made me feel special."

"You are, Anne. You are very, very exceptional. You are an amazing lover. So giving and just so delightful. Now go to sleep," he was almost pleading.

"I like your aftershave" she whispered. "What kind is it?"

You should like it. You gave it to me on your last Christmas as a Weasley. Your divorce would be final in a few weeks, but you stopped by the Burrow that December afternoon. You apologized for your gifts because money was tight, but you wanted one last Christmas with us. You gave me this cologne and some Muggle plugs and batteries. Molly and I hugged you and kissed you; assured you that we would always love you

Oh bloody hell, what have I done?

I never meant love you like this!

"British Sterling Silver," he finally admitted.

"That's why it smells so familiar," she murmured.

His heart froze and then began wildly beating, uncontrollably.

"My dad wore it."

Several sleepy kisses were bestowed on him, and then Hermione put her head on his shoulder.

"You'll still be here in morning, won't you? There will be eggs and sausage," she hopefully repeated.

Merlin's beard, she sounds so lonely Ron? You didn't hold your wife once through the entire night?

"Yes, we'll have breakfast," Arthur promised her while his heart continued to race. "But, my dear, you need to get some sleep, else there will be no eggs and sausage in the morning. There will just be a lot of hot tea and yawning."

She knew she was pregnant. Earlier that day, she had cast the spells to help ensure her fertility and she KNEW that she was pregnant. Yes, Hermione would have to wait for the earliest possible confirmation, but for now, she'd act as though she was. She'd eat right, have her vitamins and take proper care of the much wanted child growing within her.

Be a proper mother, like hers had been, like Molly was.

Maybe, after the baby was born, she'd approach Arthur and Molly and sound them out about being adopted grandparents. She didn't have anyone else as her parents were both gone. Perhaps the Weasleys would be willing to share their love with another little one. The conservative Molly might not approve of the child's irregular conception, but Arthur, he'd be willing to overlook it. Her child would need a positive male role model in its life and the big-hearted, affable Arthur would be perfect.

Hermione smiled as she imagined bribing him with plugs and cords and batteries.

How she missed them.

Their open arms, their love but it just hurt too much. Several times, she had vowed that would be the day, she'd go to the Burrow to visit. Yet, the idea of possibly meeting Harry and Ron and Teddy, the perfect little family, had stopped her in mid-Disapparation.

She needed more antenatal vitamins and folic acid from the chemist shop. While she was out and about, British Sterling Silver needed to be added to her list along with a man's jumper. She'd sprits it with the fragrance and wear it as a maternity shirt. She'd smell the cologne and think fondly of Michael, what with his sad smile and his skilled hands.

What a simply marvelous lover.

He had been making love to his wife, Hermione knew. Not her. She had only been a physical surrogate for him, but still, he had been so deliciously thorough. Ron could have learned many a thing from Michael. He had actually kissed her THERE kissed her so thoroughly that she had come.

And he hadn't stopped. No, Michael had ensured that she had her enjoyment repeatedly before he had his own.

Oh God, tonight had been far better than Witches' Weekly had ever promised. FINALLY, Hermione understood why everyone was so bloody focused on IT.

IT was great.

IT was better than chocolate Angel Delight.

IT was bloody, ruddy brilliant.

IT... Michael... would give her a baby to love.

Hmm she should think of a girl's name just in case.

"Michael? What was your wife's name?" She asked.

Her lover stiffened in her arms and he swallowed once.

"I just want to light a candle for her," Hermione quickly lied. "When I go to church."

Carefully, he rolled her on her side so he could look into her eyes. His smile was sickly.

"I wasn't thinking of her when we made love just now," he whispered. His eyes were shattered and Hermione felt her eyes water at his pain. "You must believe me. This wasn't just sex to me, I made love to you."

"Don't," she pleaded. She put her hands over his mouth. "It's alright. I'm quite used to it, you know. I just wondered what her name was. For the candle. I wish to light one for her."

"I made love to you," Michael stressed. "I know your husband hurt you by being fickle in his affection. Hermione, I'm not Ron. I made love to you, not my wife."

"What did you call me?" Hermione gasped.

"I made love to you, Hermione. I kissed the mole on your right breast. I worshipped you between your legs because I wanted you to know how it felt like to be crazy with desirehow it felt to be physically loved. I won't deny to anyone that I made love to you but I won't refute the inescapable fact had I only known who you were, I never would have touched you," said Michael. "I can't lie to you. Hermione, this never should have happened between us."

She was mentally punched in the gut, and she put her hand over her churning belly.


Betrayed in bed Michael would have sexed anyone except for Hermione Granger.

It had happened again.

"Who are you?" Hermione softly asked. "How do you know me?"

She would not cry. She would not cry. She would not cry. She would not break down.

He touched the faint scar on his neck. She had seen the scar and not commented on it, accepted that he wanted his secrets.

"You didn't ask about this," he whispered. "After it happened, I hated her to see it. She wept, and her tears hurt more than the bite ever did. She lost so much in the wars that sometimes her fears would overwhelm her. The others they thought her weak and overly protective, but I thought her the bravest woman because she continued to fight."

Oh no, no no... no!

"Arthur?" Hermione whispered. "Molly's not dead!"

She got out of her bed, the bed that she'd never use again, and she physically collapsed. Arthur attempted to grab her to prevent her from falling and she fought him off. Withstanding her blows, he helped her to her feet anyway, and Hermione struggled to cover her nakedness with her hands.

He wrapped her in the comforter, trying to cover her.

Oh God, he had kissed her there... he had held her hand while he had gone down on her to reassure her because she had been so bloody apprehensive because Ron had never wanted to do anything like that not to her. She had furiously blushed when Arthur declared her taste to be scrumptious and yummy and... It had had been... Arthur who had suckled on her breasts had rubbed her until she was writhing in need. Arthur who had her crying out in passion...she had clawed Arthur Weasley's back! She had kissed, licked and fondled Arthur's bloody wand while he... he...had moaned soft noises of pleasure.

She had sex with her father-in-law!

What was that noise? Was that inhuman screech coming from her throat?

"Let's get dressed," Arthur suggested. "We can talk and make things right between us. Just please, calm down, Hermione. We can talk and everything will be like it was. Like it was, it can be once more, just please, stop screaming, Hermione."

Yes, talking would make everything wonderful. She and Ron had done an awful lot of that rubbish, which had consisted of a condescending Ron explaining why the situation was completely her fault.

"I just fucked my ex-father-in-law," sniped a hoarse Hermione. "Yes, putting on clothes will make everything better. I know of only one thing that will make me feel better."

A bleak Arthur Weasley nodded his head once. "Do it," he stated.

Really, no one could blame her for taking him up on his most munificent offer, now could they? Hermione slapped him across his face. Hard. The comforter that had been haphazardly wrapped around her fell to the floor.

He picked it off the floor and offered it back to her. Hermione ignored his gesture as well, Arthur had already seen all there was to see of her.

"Not quite what I anticipated. I was expecting something a little lower," he dryly winced as he touched his red cheek. "Perhaps a bit more permanent also. Let me turn the other cheek, Hermione."

He turned his face and offered it.

"Michael made me feel special," she whispered. "Michael made me believe that a man could find me attractive, that a man would want to have sex with me. You're a liar, just like your son. No wonder you had more children than even the Malfoys could ever hope to afford."

She slapped him again, putting a little more back into it and Arthur Weasley rocked from the impact.

"You are special," Arthur softly insisted. "You are beautiful, Hermione. It wasn't just sex for me, Hermione."

His glamour faded and he looked like nothing more than naked, heartbroken old man. Hermione looked up and down at him and then rolled her eyes. Oh, it was time to hurt Arthur Weasley.

"You cold, Arthur? I'm detecting shrinkage?" She cruelly quipped.

"I didn't know it was you, I swear. If Crookshanks hadn't jumped on the bed" whispered Arthur.

"Somehow, I always thought better of you," Hermione stated in a too calm voice. Really, shrieking like a mad woman? No, she needed to be rational and calm. "I thought you were a proper father, a respectable husband. I wondered why Ron couldn't be more like you and now I know. He's exactly like you. Is Molly aware of your extracurricular activities?"

And she scored, cleaver directly in his heart, as an ashen Arthur flinched.

"No," softly admitted Arthur. "She's not aware"

"You disgust me. You're just like Ron! You go to a bar, have a cheap fling while your despondent wife's at home wondering what she can do to get her husband back into her bed. I guess that it's not so bad for Molly, it's not like you're buggering Kingsley Shacklebolt to the mattress!"

Arthur put his hands on his chest and pressed down. He was breathing heavily and he was a sickly color.

"Hermione I'm so sorry" he tearfully whispered.

"I despise you," she spat. Her noble attempts at remaining collected were doomed to failure, so it was time just to dump acid onto Arthur Weasley. "Did you enjoy my performance? Did you like all the little tricks I learned in my desperate hopes that your son would grow to enjoy fucking me? I thought if I learned to go down on him properly, like Harry did, that Ron might agree to let me have a baby. Did you like how I sucked you? Did I do it right?"

"You were wonderful, Hermione. You wereso lovely so beautiful You were magnificent."

Why the bloody hell was Arthur weeping? Did he believe that his tears would soften her wrath? Bloody hell no! Ms. Hermione Granger was a woman scorned, mocked and ridiculed by the Weasley men and it was time for them to pay.

"If I'm so bloody magnificent, tell me, what's so fucking wrong with me that I attract men like you?" She hysterically screamed at him. "Look at me, goddamn you. Don't stare at the floor. Look at me and tell me what's so wrong with me?"

Arthur looked at her and he put his hand out to her as though he wished to calm her. His right hand was still pressed dead center in the middle of his chest.

"There's nothing wrong with you You're a lovely, beautiful woman I swear to you I didn't know. I didn't even think"

"You did think, Arthur, but with the wrong head," Hermione snapped. "Damn the Weasleys and their wee willies."

He collapsed against the bed and slid onto the floor. His blue eyes were full of fright and he was rubbing his chest.

"Get up," she growled. "I'm not topping you. We're not having a repeat, Arthur. Go home to Molly, maybe she'll want sloppy seconds for afters."

"HermioneI'm having a heart attack" whispered Arthur. "There's an Oliphant on my chest."

"Too much sex for an old man," Hermione snarked. "Bad for your heart."

He closed his eyes and nodded once. His breathing was in short pants and he was still pressing on his chest.

"Get up, Arthur. I fell for your sincere act earlier, I simply do not believe that you're having a heart attack," she growled. "And if you were, I find that I lack the energy to care."

Again, he nodded his head and swallowed. "Tell Percy"

"Not listening. Get off the floor, Arthur, crawl back to whatever rock from whence you came," she snapped. Taking her time, she put on her clothes and returned to find a still naked Arthur Weasley softly whispering, his words appearing on a piece of parchment.

"Percy I never stopped loving you know that even when we disagreed, I still loved you. Take care of your mother for me please. I love you my little bureaucrat black sheep. I know I wasn't the father you wanted me to be. I know I disappointed you but I always loved you." He opened his eyes and looked at Hermione. "Please make sure he gets that. I don't want to die and have him secretly fear that I didn't love him as much as I did the others. Please Hermione swear it that you'll give him my message"

His color was really off, Hermione noticed. She touched his cheek and recoiled. He was ice cold and dripping in sweat. Arthur Weasley looked ill... as unwell as her father had when he had his first heart attack.

"I'd appreciate it if you'd clothe my body," he pleaded. "Please? Don't let them find my naked body. Please. Not for me for Ginny... save her from the shame, please."

He grabbed her hand.

"I know you hate me but for Ginny hasn't she been through enough? For Ginny please, don't let them find me like this. Drop my body in an alleyway, but please Hermione put my clothes on me. Please. For Ginny's sake, not mine," pleaded Arthur.

His eyes, they were terrified. Bloody hell, he WAS having a heart attack.

"I'm taking you to St. Mungo's," she whispered.